BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Southern Kaduna Autochthonous Ethnic Nationalities (CDAs Forum) has denounced and rejected moves by the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led Government in Kaduna State to change the names of Chiefdoms and nomenclatures of their traditional institutions for whatever reason or excuse.
The CDAs said taking cognizance of the fact that the administration has violated the law and due process with regard to boundary adjustment in Kaduna State, Governor el-Rufai and the committees he set up are operating outside the law, to illegally abrogate the legally instituted Chiefdoms by delineating boundaries and regrouping chiefdoms.
The ethnic nationalities, particularly noted that Governor el-Rufai and his aides are deploying arbitrary powers of coercion, intimidation and psychological torture to force the traditional rulers to comply with his directives.
They further stressed that no communities or group of persons in any Chiefdom or Emirate in Southern Kaduna, or anywhere else in Kaduna State, complained about the appropriateness of the nomenclatures of their Chiefdom/Emirate before now.
Specifically, the groups observed that there are no disagreements by any of the ethnic nationalities, communities and groups within the Chiefdoms/Emirate regarding the titles of their traditional institutions.
These were contained in a petition jointly signed by leaders of the CDAs in Southern Kaduna and addressed to Governor Nasir el-Rufai over the decision the decision of the Governor of Kaduna State to restructure the traditional institutions in the State, a copy of which was obtained by Forefront news.
The ethnic nationalities in Kaduna further said; “No Traditional Council or ethnic nationality have of their own volition requested for change of name of either their Chiefdom or Emirate. Since the nomenclatures of the Traditional Institutions of our people evolved historically, and since government at no time gave the names and titles that the ethnic nationalities and their traditional institutions are known by.
“Since ethnic nomenclatures have not caused conflict anywhere in Kaduna State, Governor el-Rufai is encouraging people to begin contesting the legitimacy of the Traditional Institutions under which jurisdictions they live in Kaduna State.”
Continuing, the CDAs said el-Rufai is instigating non-indigenous groups to aspire to take over the Traditional Institutions of their host communities and subsequently destroy them
According to the ethnic nationalities in Southern Kaduna; “The planned restructuring of traditional institutions in Kaduna is ill-conceived and ill-intentioned by Governor El-Rufai;
“The inevitable result of the restructuring, rather than improve the operations of the Traditional Institution to restore its glory and esteem among the people as falsely claimed by the Governor, will actually denigrate and devalue the Traditional Institution, and is therefore uncalled for, punitive and retrogressive, and must therefore be jettisoned. Governor El-Rufai, in pursuing his agenda to have no indigenes in Kaduna State.
“Governor El-Rufai, in seeking to humiliate the traditional institution in Kaduna State in general and Southern Kaduna in particular in implementing his anti-people agenda through compulsion, by instigating and opening many avenues for conflicts and crises in Kaduna State, is encouraging people to go into active resistance.
“The Southern Kaduna Autochthonous Ethnic Nationalities condemn this high-handed manipulation that could cause break down of the peace, and ask the Governor to dissolve his committees and rescind his directives on the restructuring of the Traditional Institutions.”
Accordingly, the CDAs Forum resolved that all Community Development Associations, the organisations that fought for and secured legal approval of their Traditional Institutions by the Kaduna State Government, should urgently meet with their Traditional Councils and write to the Governor of Kaduna State and the Kaduna State House of Assembly, rejecting any change in the nomenclature, boundaries and structures of their Traditional Institutions, in line with the collective resolutions of the CDAs Forum.
The CDAs urged el-Rufai to respect the views and wishes of the citizens and people of Kaduna State, so as not to force the peace-loving people of the State to resort to other lawful and peaceful actions to address what they described as “”your administration’s unwarranted assault on the Traditional Institutions in the State.”